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Organizing Quick Tip: Shopping List Post-it

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How many times have you gone to the supermarket with your shopping list written on a piece of paper and any of the following happens:

• you lose it

• it drops somewhere in the cart and gets trapped under your heaviest item

• you have to carry the list while pushing the cart because you think you might lose it or drop it

Your trip to the supermarket is about to get easier…

Today’s Organizing Quick Tip:

Use large post-its for your shopping list and stick them to the
front compartment of the cart.

Organizing Quick Tip: Shopping List Post-it I organizedartistry.com #groceryshoppingtip

No more fumbling for your list. No more balancing your list and a bag of bananas. Your list is right in front of you making shopping easier and less stressful–that’s what organizing is all about.

I like the fact that these post-its have lines to write on, making your list easier to compose and read. By placing the list in this spot, it also makes it easier to cross items off your list with a pen. You can find these lined post-its in most office supply stores–or Amazon if you need a few extra dollars to make that free shipping limit…

For those of you who have small children seated in that front compartment, I know you can’t stick your shopping list in the spot above–I’ve been there. My kids’ shopping cart cover had side pockets for bottles/snacks and while my sons were little and sitting in that front section of the cart, I’d put the big post-it shopping list in one of those pockets. Yes, sometimes my child would grab it and I’d have to move it around (and sometimes even stick it to myself) but that period of their lives won’t last long. Soon you will be able to stick your post-it shopping list on the shopping cart.

Who’s going shopping the organized way today?

 

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Organizing Quick Tip: Organizing Donation Requests

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Do you get a truckload of charities and non-profits sending you requests for donations? They can really pile up–especially at holiday time!

This scenario may sound familiar…

You write a check to a charity. A few months later another donation request from the same charity lands in your mailbox.  You don’t remember whether you’ve donated to them or not so you do one of two things:

• you send them more money
• you toss the envelope on your desk and now it’s clutter

Today’s Organizing Quick Tip will help you keep track of all of those donation requests…

Create a home for 
‘donation request’ envelopes. 
 

Follow these steps to keep those donation requests under control…

• Get a small box–approximately the size of a shoe box.

Examples of some boxes for this task:

Stockholm Photo Box from The Container Store
KASSETT Box w/Lid from IKEA
• Place the box in an area close to where the mail enters the house.• When a donation envelope comes in the mail, place it in that box.

• Go through the box every three months to sort and purge for duplicates. I guarantee–you WILL have duplicates!

• After Thanksgiving, sort and purge the the donation envelopes one last time and decide which organization(s) you’ll donate to. Spread the piles across your dining room table or sofa if you need a lot of room.

• Make your donations in December–once a year (if possible). That way you’ll have no problem remembering when you sent your charitable donations. This eliminates the need to look back at a year’s worth of checkbook and credit card statements to see when and who you donated to.

• If you don’t already have one, create a ‘tax file’ for papers you’ll need to collect for tax purposes.

• Place receipts for your charitable donations in the tax file.

• Empty your ‘donation request’ box and start over.

I recently set up this system for a client and she said it made her life so much easier in these ways:
• It organized all of her donation requests in one spot.
• It allowed her to notice when she had multiple envelopes from the same charity/non-profit.
• By doing her donations once a year, she no longer has to try and remember or look back in a check book register or credit card statement to see if she already made a donation.This will save you time, money and brain power. Give it a try–let me know how it works for you!

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Organizing ‘Quick Tip:’ ICE: In Case of Emergency

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Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods, seem to be making headlines lately. The news speaks of of lives lost, homes and communities destroyed, and families displaced. We hope to never find ourselves in such a situation.

September is National Preparedness Month–the perfect time to consider what you might need in a time of crisis.

You might be thinking–“I don’t live in tornado territory.” Or, “My apartment on the 18th floor and wouldn’t be affected by a flood. I understand your thinking but, I implore you to put ‘personal safety’ on your to-do list this month.

We’ve all heard about creating an emergency kit for a car or stocking a three-day supply of water in our basements–all important preparations. What I’d like you to do in the next day or two is today’s Organizing ‘Quick Tip’…

Prepare for an emergency by programming your cell phone with I.C.E.

I.C.E. stands for In Case of Emergency

Photo courtesy of Worldstart.com


It’s very easy and could save your life in an emergency.

Programming emergency contacts on my iPhone has been on my to-do list for a while. In honor of National Preparedness Month, I took a few moments to set up those I.C.E. contacts. My husband and my parents are my contacts and I have added my home telephone number so a message could be left on our answering machine if necessary. I also listed my allergies and my blood type. Not only is my pertinent information listed, I’ve included the names of my children in case they are in an accident with me. I’ve identified each of them by their hair color and what they are allergic to.

After you’ve read this post, please make an appointment with yourself to program I.C.E. contacts on your phone. Here are a few how-to’s articles to give you some ideas…

For iPhone:
http://www.worldstart.com/adding-ice-contacts-to-your-iphone/

Smartphone and iPhone with Siri in case of password protection:
http://rnn10.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/how-to-set-up-an-ice-contact-on-your-iphone/

Now, go get organized for an emergency!

Organizing ‘Quick Tip:’ Take Action with Post-its

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or ‘Like’ Organized Artistry on Facebook, then you know how much I love Post-its. I own and use them in different colors, shapes and sizes. Up until recently, I used the ‘Stickies’ program on my Mac (replaced now by the paperless, Evernote…). Truth be told, I just downloaded the Post-it app to my smart phone–I couldn’t help myself…

I use Post-its almost everyday, both in my business and personal life. I use them as a place to dump my brain and to help me remember what I need to do. I find that they come in handy when dealing with papers that need to be acted upon. Today’s Organizing ‘Quick Tip’ of the day is…

Use a Post-it to remind you to take a particular action.

 

For instance, I’m always collecting store coupons–especially ones for the stores where I buy my kids’ clothing. They’re always needing something in their wardrobe! When I get the coupon, I place a Post-it on top of it and jot down what I need to buy in that store. No need to comb my brain thinking about what I need to buy when I get a moment to shop. It’s all there, ready for me to act upon.

A while back, I needed some picture frames and photo albums. I thought I might have trouble remembering what I needed once I got to the store–so I went searching for my good friend, the Post-it. I wrote on the Post-it above exactly what products I was looking for and stuck it to the coupon. By doing so, I spent less time at the store and no time trying to recall what I needed to buy.

Write the action that you need to take on a Post-it to remind you…
To pay a bill by a certain date.
To write back to someone who sent you a holiday card.
To create a new file for a stack of papers.
To donate or toss an unwanted item.
To follow up on an project you’re working on.

What action will a Post-it remind you to take today?

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Organizing ‘Quick Tip’

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If you’re like many people, you recently made one or two New Year’s resolutions.

You’ve made a plan and you’ve set mini-goals for yourself to make those resolutions a reality–that’s great. Maybe that plan includes weekly organizing sessions. Maybe you’ll be organizing your garage in the Spring or you’ll be spending time every day going through your bulging file cabinets.

Whatever plans you have for reaching your organizing goals this year, follow this quick-tip to make reaching your goals easier on your mind and body.

Determine when you are ‘at your best’ and schedule organizing at that time.

Melting Wall Clock – Photo: coolclockshop.com

Are you a morning person?
A night owl?
Somewhere in between? (I call myself an Afternoon Person…)

If you’re not sure when your most ‘productive’ time of day is, try doing one simple organizing task before breakfast. Try another one on another day in the early/late afternoon. Try another one at 10pm. When did you feel you did your best?

Aim to work at an organizing task when your energy and concentration levels are high. Being alert at ‘task time’ will help you to accomplish your mini-goals faster, more creatively and consciously.

The saying may go, ‘The early bird catches the worm,” but if you’re not an early bird, then it’s highly unlikely you’ll be successful at worm-catching (and then organizing them afterward…).

Work with the natural rhythms of your body and brain. Your productivity will soar, your organizing goals will be met, and you’ll embrace the end of the year with an amazing feeling of accomplishment.

Organizing ‘Quick Tip’

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Open the drawer of your file cabinet. Are papers peeking over the top of your file folders? If your answer is ‘Yes,’ then read on…
Grab a manila folder and take a good look at it. You may have never noticed it, but there are scored lines at the bottom of most folders–some folders have three lines across and some have five. 

To make more space for papers in your folder, bend and crease one of the lines to create a box-bottomed effect. Creasing the highest of the three or five lines will provide you with the most space inside your folder.

Organizing ‘Quick Tip’

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After purging items for Trash, Donation, or Repair get them out of your home ASAP.

Photo: Stacksandstacks.com

• Trash goes to the curb/garbage room
• Donations go to a local thrift shop or drop-off bin
• Repairs go to the tailor or fix-it shop

Put Donations/Repairs in the trunk of your car and deliver the bags to the appropriate places as soon as you can. If you can arrange it, purge items from your home the day before your garbage is scheduled to be picked up.

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

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